I don’t want to seem ungrateful.
Donald Trump is the most pro-Israel president in history. And he’s done more to stand up for our country on the world stage than any other president in modern history.
While I have been critical of much of Trump’s personal conduct, I am deeply appreciative of the strength, integrity, and principle that he has shown in world affairs.
That’s why I am so disappointed in the tiny little cut to our country’s funding of the United Nations that his administration announced this week.
Unless you’ve been holed up in the Qumran Caves for the past month, you know that three weeks ago President Trump made history by formally recognizing the historical fact that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and ordering that the American embassy be relocated there.
The United Nations responded by introducing a resolution condemning the United States for taking this action.
President Trump, both personally and through his UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, responded that the United States considers that resolution to be an attack on our sovereignty, and he stated that we would be paying close attention to who voted against us.
Most importantly, he announced that we would make deep cuts in UN funding if it went through with this assault on us.
The UN did, in fact, pass the resolution – by a wide margin.
In doing so, it poked its finger in the eye of the most generous nation that has ever existed, a nation that gives the UN $8 billion per year, which is 22% of its budget. The US pays more than about 180 other member nations combined.
The hugely disproportionate amount of funding that the US provides to the UN is based on the fact that we generate 25% of the combined total of the gross national products of all member nations.
At first glance this formula might seem reasonable, maybe even a proportionate bargain for us. But I ask this:
Why should the taxpayers of the United States be penalized for adopting the free-market economic system and representative democratic form of government that led to our prosperity?
Why should we subsidize the membership of scores of countries whose citizens live in squalor because they are run by dictators and tyrants who scorn both free markets and individual liberty?
So, I cheered when Trump promised to dramatically cut our funding to the UN if it dared to spit in our face.
On Tuesday, Ambassador Haley announced to great fanfare that the United States will be cutting $285 million from its funding to the United Nations.
And everyone popped the champaign bottles and threw confetti. Trump had followed through on his promise! Take that you jackasses!
Meh. I’m not impressed.
The $285 million cut announced by Ms. Haley amounts to a measly three percent of what we’ve been paying.
To put that in perspective, we currently pay approximately $620 million per day on interest on the national debt. (Yes, you read that correctly.) The $285 million reduction in UN funding that the Trump administration is crowing about will pay the interest on the national debt for about 11 hours out of every year.
Imagine that for decades you have been donating $100,000 every year to a certain charity and serving on its board of directors.
Now imagine that this charity’s board decides to pass a resolution censuring you for helping another unpopular member of that board with a personal matter.
Imagine that prior to the vote you announce to the board that if they passed that resolution, you will dramatically cut your annual donation.
Finally, imagine that after they approve the resolution (by a large margin), you respond by reducing your annual donation by a mere $3,000 to $97,000.
How impressed do you think they’d be with your “punishment” of their slight against you?
In fact, the tiny size of this funding cut could actually embolden the UN to become even more hostile to us:
An experiment was conducted by economists in 1998 in which a day care center implemented a policy of charging a fine of approximately $3.00 on parents who were late picking up their kids. The result was an increase in parent tardiness because they felt that they were morally justified in being late by virtue of paying a tiny fine that they didn’t mind paying.
The same principle applies here. Prior to the recent vote, President Trump threatened to make major cuts in UN funding if it approved that anti-US resolution. The UN did it anyway. Trump responded by making a minuscule cut in UN funding, and then he and his administration touted that cut as huge. The result is that the UN now knows that the cost of defying us is minimal, which means that they are now emboldened to attack us even more going forward.
Did anyone notice how much the UN didn’t complain when the amount of the funding cut was announced? Maybe that’s because this funding cut wasn’t imposed on the UN unilaterally by us on our own terms. It was negotiated.
If President Trump and Ambassador Haley really want to assert our national sovereignty and humble an arrogant, corrupt, and often evil organization, they should reduce our UN funding to our proportionate share based on population and not GDP. If we did that, our contribution would be cut by $6.15 billion to $1.85 billion per year, a decrease of 77%.
The United Nations has devolved into an organization that loathes Jews, free markets, and representative democracy. It is long past time that we stopped subsidizing the harm that they do to our country and our world.
Author: Ken Falkenstein
Ken Falkenstein is the Managing Editor of Committed Conservative and brings a wealth of experience and expertise in public affairs to the job. Ken served in the U.S. Army in the last years of the Cold War as a Russian linguist for military intelligence and the NSA. After leaving the Army, he earned his degree in Secondary Education from Old Dominion University, where he also wrote a popular column in the student newspaper.
Upon graduation, Ken worked as a Legislative Aide to two Republican members of the Virginia House of Delegates. Ken also served as Corresponding Secretary of the Young Republican Federation of Virginia, managed several successful political campaigns, and managed governmental affairs operations for a local Realtor association.
In 1995, Ken moved to Washington, DC to serve as a Legislative Assistant to Sen. John Warner (R-VA). While working for Sen. Warner, Ken attended law school at night, earning his J.D. with honors from the George Mason University School of Law (n/k/a The Antonin Scalia Law School). Since that time, Ken has practiced as a civil litigation attorney, including serving for three years as an Associate City Attorney for the City of Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Ken previously was a contributor to the highly-regarded political blog Bearing Drift and was a weekly co-host of The Steve Batton Radio Program. In 2016, Ken ran unsuccessfully for the Virginia Beach School Board. Ken is also a former President of the Down Syndrome Association of Hampton Roads.
Ken now lives outside of Denver, Colorado with his wife, Kim, and three sons, Adam, Dylan, and Joshua, who has Down syndrome. Ken’s writing is motivated and informed primarily by his concern for his kids’ future.